As my mother has now spent a few days over at the hospital in Germany (which she is chronicling at her own blog. Those interested can get the first hand story here) I thought it time to continue the narrative I have already commenced and give you the next segment of my side of Mom’s cancer struggle. It is especially appropriate as the next chapter documents those first two weeks after the diagnoses, the  first major hospital time that this experience demanded.

Mom’s diagnoses meant surgery and days after the news (with Mom not even getting a day at home), we were still in the hospital. We would, in fact, spend the next two weeks in the hospital. The first few days were in a classic hospital room. Cramped and really made for only a visitor or two, hospitals aren’t exactly places to through parties. And yet somehow we did. All of us had taken those days off of work, and spent shifts spending the night with her. And during the day there would always be a few of us there, and sometimes more, and I dare say once we crammed up to 15 people in one of those tiny hospital rooms (Sister and Aunt perched on the window sill. Dad and brother in a chair, me snuggled up next to mom in the bed {and accidentally pushing the call button for the nurse. Oops! Sorry}, and a whole gaggle of other relatives crammed in to say hi). Sometimes it even felt like a party. We would laugh and joke and make fun of the fact that Mom’s surgeon looked exactly like my fictional character crush a the time.

Let me tell you, nurses (and murses) are amazing heroes. Not only in the fact they know and can do so much to help, but they can do so much to cheer a patient. I would come to visit my mom and she would always have an anecdote to tell me about the night shift nurse. Nurses would join in on our laughs and conversations (I remember one actually walking out in the middle of taking vitals because he was too shocked we hadn’t seen his favorite movie. He came back ten minutes later to finish, saying “Well I guess I’ll forgive you now”)

I remember spending the night at my sisters because it was closer than the hospital and doing a puzzle there with my brother. I remember walking to get coffee with my dad. I remember praying with the Elders of my church and the amazing support that was.

After mom’s surgery she was moved to the cancer part of the clinic. Which meant no flowers, due to some medical reason or other, but it also meant an actually nice sized room! Parties were much easier to hold here. Also, the waiting room was essentially not used and had an awesome DVD collection. I don’t think I can ever watch the Spiderman trilogy without thinking of watching them with my brother during those times.

Speaking of my brother I remember so many commutes back and forth with him. I laughed so hard during them. Christian’s got a wit when he has the mood for it, and there are so many quotes I still smile when I think of.

Him: On a scale of one to ten, how mad would you be if I hit a skunk while driving your car?

Me: Uh, three? Depending on how bad my car smelled afterwords.”

Him: That’s totally worth it!


Me: What about that gas station?

Him: That one? That’s way sketchy. I’d hate to have to stab someone.



And of course, our composition to the tune of Dixieland:

I wish I had some whisky, Hurray! Hurray!
In Dublin town I’d drink it down,
Down to the bottom of the whisky,
Hurray! Hurray! Down to the bottom of the whisky!
Hurray! Hurray! Down to the bottom of the whisky!

Probably weird for two minors to be making up (and not particularly well crafted anyway), but dang if I still don’t hum the words now and then.

This post is getting long and there’s so much I still haven’t said. (Like that time a mouse and I got too close. Eeep! That’s a whole post for later).  But I think the point is that these moments are AMAZING memories. Don’t get me wrong. Those two weeks were without a doubt the worst, hardest, and emotionally difficult time of my life. And yet there was so many memories that I hold so dear. I felt closer to all my family during that time as we pulled together through the struggle. I saw the love that surrounded my mom and each member of my family and realized the blessing of it. I realized the blessing of a brother who can make me laugh even in the hardest of times. I realized how comforting my sister could be. I will always treasure these moments. I guess there always are silver linings.


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